Workplace safety can give small business owners a recruiting edge, EMPLOYERS survey finds
Workplace Safety Advisor
Many small business owners are, by nature, risk takers. They wager their business acumen against larger, perhaps more heavily financed corporate. There is excitement and challenge in such a venture, but to succeed, these businesses need good management information, an ability to be a good manager of people, and, importantly, good people!
A new survey from EMPLOYERS®, America’s small business insurance specialist®, found that small business owners may be underselling an important factor that could give them an edge when recruiting new talent. The survey found that the safety of the work environment was among the top criteria employees consider when evaluating a new job offer. It ranked behind criteria such as compensation, the nature of the work, and proximity to home, but ahead of factors such as the quality of potential coworkers and opportunities for professional growth.
The survey also found that while most (89 percent) small business employees believe their employers make workplace safety a high priority, one out of 10 disagree. People who work at businesses that employ 86 to 100 people were more likely to say their employer prioritizes workplace safety (96 percent), compared to people who work at micro-businesses that have one to nine employees (87 percent).
Employees of certified women-owned business were also more likely to believe their employer places an extremely high priority on workplace safety (62 percent). Women-owned-businesses are more likely than the average small business to provide workplace safety training once a year, the survey found.
The survey also explored the comfort level small business employees have addressing workplace safety concerns with management. More than half of employees (52 percent) said they would report concerns to the business owner and nearly half (48 percent) said they would speak with a direct supervisor. Women said they are more comfortable reporting work-related safety issues (51 percent) than men (43 percent).
While workplace safety is a priority for many small businesses, the survey reveals that more can be done to foster safe work environments. The EMPLOYERS survey found:
17 percent of all small business employees surveyed say they never receive workplace safety training
25 percent of micro-businesses employees (9 or fewer employees), say they never receive workplace safety training
40 percent of small business employees say their employer does not display OSHA signage prominently or they are not sure if it is displayed
OSHA requirements and services by size of employer
Triggers coverage under the OSH Act. Self employed persons are not covered, nor are family members working on family farms.
10 or fewer employees
Exempt from injury and illness recordkeeping requirements.
Can communicate Emergency Action and Fire Prevention Plans orally versus written.
Exempt from OSHA programmed inspections IF in certain low hazard industries.
If a farm, exempt from all OSHA inspection activity.
1 - 10 employees
Eligible for up to a 70% discount in OSHA penalties.
11 - 25 employees
Eligible for up to a 60% discount in OSHA penalties.
26 - 100 employees
Eligible for up to a 30% discount in OSHA penalties.
101 - 250 employees
Eligible for up to a 10% discount in OSHA penalties.
250 or fewer
Eligible to participate in OSHA’s SHARP (Safety and Health Achievement and Recognition Program) if fewer than 251 onsite employees and fewer than 500 corporate-wide employees. (This upper corporate size limit does not apply to individual franchisees.)
Eligible for OSHA’s free consultation service.
250 or more (at one location)
Required to electronically submit detailed injury/illness summaries to OSHA on a quarterly basis starting in 2017.
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